Brad Lidge made progress toward exorcising his demons on Wednesday night, when he retired Albert Pujols in a save situation, which helped secure the Phillies' 4-2 win over the Cardinals.
Pujols' home run off Lidge in the 2005 NLCS and Lidge's subsequent struggles have been well-documented, so it was great to see Lidge get the big out in Wednesday's game.
It had, in fact, been quite a while since Lidge got the better of Pujols. The last time Pujols failed to reach base against Lidge, before last night, was on September 22, 2006, when Pujols struck out looking against Lidge. Since then, Pujols had reached base in six consecutive plate appearances.
Since the 2005 NLCS, Lidge and Pujols have squared off nine times. In those meetings, Pujols went 2-5 with 2 RBI and walked four times. Only one hit was for extra bases (a double) and two of the walks were intentional. One of the (unintentional) walks came with the bases loaded.
So for those of you keeping score at home, Pujols has hit .400 with a .667 OBP, slugging .600, for a 1.267 OPS.
But maybe Lidge has turned over a new leaf. Since he joined the Phillies, Pujols is 0-1 with an intentional walk against him. Not bad.